GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — A new survey from Construction Coverage shows that housing prices in Grand Rapids have gone up 90% in the past 10 years.
That number is also twice the pace of the national average.
If you’ve lived in the area for a while, the stats probably aren’t a surprise.
FOX 17 spoke to the Mike Childress, President of the Greater Alliance of Realtors to find out why.
Childress said one of the biggest reasons behind the jump is a slow and steady recovery from the 2008 recession.
“The perfect storm of situations going on right now to make the property values go up,” he said.
It’s the perfect storm in a very competitive market for home buyers right now.
Childress said, “There’s less people selling their homes and twice as many people looking to buy, so this is like a spring market in the fall, which is completely unheard of.”
He said that the 90% increase in home prices in the past 10 years represents a slow buildup.
“We had a recession, which dropped our property values quite a bit and then from that point, we started low and then we were tinkering up,” he said, “Over the past 10 years, I believe, every area is not exactly the same, but quite often overall they’ve been going up about 10% a year in some areas and some more.”
Childress said there are many factors that play into home prices in our area.
He said, “West Michigan overall has been inexpensive compared to the rest of the country for cost of living, but interest rates have been steadily declining, we have some of the best interest rates we’ve ever had before, people have been wanting to re-invest in their homes, because they do see value there so they’re going to go out and fix it up put that new roof on, do different things that they can do to increase the value.”
West Michigan is also popping up on a lot more people’s radar.
“We are not far from the lakeshore, we have many many different job opportunities for people, the school districts are very very strong in many of the areas around us, so there’s a combination of many different things and a great place for people to live and grow up,” Childress said.
Even though prices continue to increase, Childress said the area is still more affordable than much of the country.
“We are $60,000 under the national average for an average price range. I think Kent County is having about $262,000 as the average price range for a home,” he said.
Childress also cautions home-buyers not to panic about the overall increase.
“People are saying hey we have a runaway inflation type of idea. I don’t believe that that’s really the case, as we started at such a low number and then we had an upswing of values, and then low inventory right now and our interest rates are low.”
As much as he’d like to predict the future for the market, Childress said it’s best to look at home-ownership as a marathon, not a sprint.
He said, “What’s it going to look like in six months? What is it going to look like in a year, two years? At the end of the day, if they look at real estate as a long-term investment, a long-term situation, most people are going to win.”